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Stockholm Gets The Joke

November 24, 2011

This Caravaggesque painting by the Baroque era Flemish artist Nicolas Régnier has been kicking around the art market for a while (New York, London, Maastricht and elsewhere) and appears to have found a (permanent) home at Stockholm, Sweden’s Nationalmuseum.  While with London-based dealer Robilant & Voena it was offered with the titles “Carnival Scene” (2005)  “The Joke” (2007) … it now reappears as “Fortune Telling Scene.”  It dates from the artist’s Roman period (note the section of plinth complete with egg and dart moulding used as a table), and according to a 2007 Robilant & Voena essay its provenance cannot be traced back beyond 1976.

According to the Nationalmuseum’s press release the painting was purchased as part of the institution’s centenary celebration.  The museum friends group raised SEK 10.66 million (approx $1.555 million) for the painting’s acquisition and it was formally unveiled at the museum on November 21.

Nicolas Régnier (Maubeuge ca. 1588 – 1667 Venice), Fortune Telling Scene, oil on canvas, 97 x 131 cm (38″ x 52″)


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